A Dutch court has ruled that the government must pay compensation to nine Indonesian widows of men summarily executed in their country's war for independence, a ruling that could open the door to many more claims.

The Hague District Court said Wednesday that the elderly women, who live in Indonesia and were not present for the decision, are widows "of men unlawfully executed under the responsibility of the Dutch state" and are entitled to damages.

The court did not immediately set an amount of compensation.

The Dutch government apologized in 2013 for atrocities committed by its forces in fighting between 1945, when Indonesia declared its independence from Dutch colonial rule, and 1949, when the Netherlands finally recognized independence.